1 September 2006 High voltage with Si series photovoltaics
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A monolithic crystalline Si photovoltaic device, developing a potential of 2,120 Volts, has been demonstrated12. The monolithic device consists of 3600 small photovoltaic cells connected in series and fabricated using standard CMOS processing on SOI wafers. The SOI wafers with trenches etched to the buried oxide (BOX) depth are used for cell isolation. The photovoltaic cell is a Si pn junction device with the n surface region forming the front surface diffused region upon which light impinges. Contact is formed to the deeper diffused region at the cell edge. The p+ deep-diffused region forms the contact to the p-type base region. Base regions were 5 or 10 μm thick. Series connection of individual cells is accomplished using standard CMOS interconnects. This allows for the voltage to range from approximately 0.5 Volts for a single cell to above a thousand volts for strings of thousands of cells. The current is determined by cell area. The voltage is limited by dielectric breakdown. Each cell is isolated from the adjacent cells through dielectric-filled trench isolation, the substrate through the SOI buried oxide, and the metal wiring by the deposited pre-metal dielectric. If any of these dielectrics fail (whether due to high electric fields or inherent defects), the photovoltaic device will not produce the desired potential. We have used ultra-thick buried oxide SOI and several novel processes, including an oxynitride trench fill process, to avoid dielectric breakdown.
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David J. Stein, David J. Stein, Robert Nasby, Robert Nasby, Rupal K. Patel, Rupal K. Patel, Alex Hsia, Alex Hsia, Reid Bennett, Reid Bennett, } "High voltage with Si series photovoltaics", Proc. SPIE 6287, Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing II, 62870D (1 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.683769; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.683769

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